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House of Horspool: Inverurie influencers whose home renovation project has amassed over 185,000 followers

Set in 65 acres of stunning Aberdeenshire countryside, this epic mansion makeover has to be seen to be believed.

Christina and Dean Horspool outside their House of Horspool (manar house, Inverurie)
Christina and Dean Horspool have put their blood, sweat and tears into transforming this magnificent mansion. Image: Kath Flannery/DC Thomson

As skint students, Christina and Dean Horspool would scrimp and save all their pennies so they could drive round the French countryside in their clapped-out Fiat Punto, camping outside some of the most beautiful châteaus in the world.

Back then, the childhood sweethearts would’ve laughed if someone had told them that one day they would be living in their very own manor house.

“We both love history, architecture and art so it was the perfect holiday for us,” says Christina, 38.

“We always used to talk about how cool would it be if we could have something like that.”

Twenty years on and Christina and Dean have to pinch themselves daily after moving into Manar House, an astoundingly beautiful Georgian mansion dating back to 1811  just outside Inverurie.

Christina and Dean Horspool standing on the front steps of their house
Christina and Dean Horspool have breathed new life into this incredible Georgian home. Image: Kath Flannery/DC Thomson
Christina Horspool standing in the entrance of the house, standing between two white pillars
Entrances are always grand at Manar House. Image: Kath Flannery/DC Thomson

“When I first spotted Manar House on the property website ASPC, I was like ‘oh my god’, this looks incredible,” says Christina.

“And when we first visited it, we both just fell in love with it.”

Dean was equally as spellbound with the sprawling period property.

“This was way more than just a house, it was our dream,” says Dean.

Valued at £1 million

Following your dreams can prove challenging as Christina, the Vice President of Sustainability and Climate Action at X-Academy, an Aberdeen-based energy transition skills initiative, and Dean, who works as an integrity engineer in the oil and gas sector. both discovered.

Although valued at £1 million, Manar House was in desperate need of TLC so when Christina and Dean’s offer of £460,000 was accepted back in October 2019, they were shocked yet elated.

The celebrations were short lived though as just a few weeks later, thieves stole all the lead from the roof, leaving water cascading in.

Christina Horspool walking up the curved stairway, an electric chandelier above her and a vase of flowers on the windowsill behind her
Stairway to heaven: Christina Horspool takes Society writer Rosie Lowne on a tour of their amazing home. Image: Kath Flannery/DC Thomson
The snug living area with a leather chesterfield sofa, cream L-shaped fabric sofa in front of a fireplace.
The stunning snug has a rustic yet regal feel to it. Image: Kath Flannery/DC Thomson

Nail-biting property auction

Worried about the damage to the already dilapidated home, Dean attempted to renegotiate their original offer but the didn’t get anywhere.

Instead the couple thought their property dream was all but over as Manar House was put up for auction.

“They didn’t say anything to us and put it up for auction and to top it off they started having open days,” says Dean.

“It was sickening.”

Determined not to let their dream home slip through their fingers, in early 2020, Dean did the 147-mile drive to Glasgow for the auction.

After a nail-biting bidding war, Dean’s £500,000 bid was accepted.

“I think I dropped to the floor in the office when Dean phoned to tell me, says Christina.

A rustic looking room with stone flooring, a patterned rug, pool table, fireplace and armchairs.
The billiard room has plenty of quirky features. Image: Kath Flannery/DC Thomson
A double sink with a vase of flowers on it and a gold framed mirror hung above and two hanging lights on either side. The room has marble floor tiles, forest print wallpaper and a large frosted window
The sumptuous bathrooms have marble floors and free standing baths. Image: Kath Flannery/DC Thomson

Blood, sweat and tears

The couple, who have two children, Chloe, four, and six-year-old Amelie, were handed the keys to their magnificent mansion in February 2020.

Since then the couple, who are originally from Birmingham and who share their home with Dean’s mum Chris, have breathed new life into the historic home and inspired thousands of others along the way via their Instagram page.

In fact, the couple have amassed a whopping 185,000 followers.

“I started an Instagram page at our previous property but when we moved to Manar House it just exploded,” says Christina.

“One of our viral reels has been viewed by over 6 million people.”

Major makeover

Looking at the dramatic before and after photos on their grid, it’s no surprise that their renovation has garnered such a following.

“We ended up moving into the property sooner than we liked and it was a complete building site which was interesting with two very small children as well as working from home,” says Christina.

This before and after image shows what the snug was like before it was given a makeover (right).
These makeover photos show what the exterior of the property was like before it was freshened up and the work that has gone into transforming the staircase.

In just three and a half years, the couple have put their blood, sweat and tears into transforming the incredible home which has a fascinating history.

“You’ll see lots of underwater inspired Frieze detail around the house because Hugh Gordon, who owned the house and who commissioned renowned Aberdeen architect John Smith to build it, made his money from pearl fishing in the Gulf of Mannar off Sri Lanka,” says Christina.

“That’s where the inspiration for the house name came from.”

Christina Horspool admiring the black and white forest-print wallpaper
This beautiful wallpaper by Woodchip & Stone adds an element of nature to this space. Image: Kath Flannery/DC Thomson
A cosy living area in the House of Horspool, decorated with warm colours, yellow chesterfield arm chairs, a grey plaid sofa, a stone feature wall and a chess table
This resplendent room in one of the suites is perfect for relaxing. Image: Kath Flannery/DC Thomson

Bridgerton vibes

It’s hard not to imagine yourself in a scene from period drama Bridgerton when driving up the sweeping drive to Manar House.

After drinking in spectacular views, an elaborate doorway framed by Greek style columns leads into a breathtaking hallway.

To call this area a hallway would not do this part of the property justice.

Featuring an original flagstone floor, eye-catching artwork from Gallery Heinzel, an Aberdeen based art gallery which has loaned the couple several paintings to exhibit, a staircase so beautiful you can imagine a bride gliding down it and a glittering chandelier which orginally lit up The London Palladium, this is as grand as entrances get.

Christina sitting next to a window in the house, looking out at the greenery outside
Christina never tires of the stunning views at Manar House. Image: Kath Flannery/DC Thomson
One of the bedrooms of the house, decorated with dark wood tones, pale blue walls and bedding and yellow curtains
Every bedroom has been designed differently. Image: Kath Flannery/DC Thomson

Ornate features

Off the hallway are two huge reception rooms, one of which is used as a yoga retreat with massive floor to ceiling windows bringing the outside in.

At the heart of the home is the superb snug where traditional features like a striking original fireplace, the most intricate of cornicing, characterful pre-loved furniture and a large-rounded window perfectly blend with modern features.

The main family area of the home has four big bedrooms, four big bathrooms and a fifth bedroom which is currently being made into a en suite with dressing area.

Intricate artwork on the wall above one of the doors in the house, all in white
The freize work is truly stunning. Image: Kath Flannery/DC Thomson
Portraits of Hugh and Elizabeth Gordon in gold frames against a green wall
These beautiful portraits feature Hugh and Elizabeth Gordon who commissioned renowned local architect John Smith to build Manar House. Image: Kath Flannery/DC Thomson

The west wing of the house is where there are three separate luxurious suites which the couple are renting out as holiday accommodation.

Although still a work in progress, the couple are blissfully happy about their new life in the country.

Asked what advice they would give anyone looking to renovate a period home, Christina says: “I’d say do it bit by bit,” says Christina.

The view of the garden from one of the windows
Bringing the beautiful outdoors in. Image: Kath Flannery/DC Thomson
Christina and Dean Horspool in their large garden, looking out at the countryside
Christina and Dean Horspool will never tire of their wonderful views. Image: Kath Flannery/DC Thomson

Photo gallery

For more information about Christina and Dean’s home renovation, check out their Instagram page @houseofhorspool